I just lost my sweet 9-year-old Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix on Sunday, 5/6. She was her normal, frisky self last Thursday night, but Friday morning she was lethargic and vomited a couple of times. She has a sensitive stomach, so we attributed her symptoms to that and kept a watchful eye on her. When she didn't eat, we were a bit more concerned so we pampered her a bit and decided if she wasn't better the next morning we would run her to the vet. Saturday morning, she was a bit perkier and ate some food. She went outside and even barked at the neighbor's dog. We were encouraged that she was improving, but as the day went on she showed signs of getting worse. She acted tired and she just didn't look like herself. When she vomited again Saturday night, we decided to take her to an emergency vet. After x-rays and blood work, the vet came and told us she had no doubt Maggie had IMHA, a rare autoimmune form of anemia which causes the body to attack its own red blood cells. Our only option was a blood transfusion, but the vet bluntly told us that even with that there was a very unlikely chance Maggie would survive. Her organs were starting to fail and she might require multiple transfusions over days and then would need a lifetime of steroid maintenance to hopefully keep the disease in remission. She said it would not be a good quality of life for our girl, so we made the heartbreaking decision to let her die with dignity. I feel a lot of guilt in having let her go, in not taking her to the vet sooner, in wondering if there is something we could have seen earlier to recognize this disease. I feel anger at this happening to my dog, at not being able to share more than 9 years with her, that my kids had to lose their pet too soon (and unfortunately my son now lives out of state and had to say goodbye remotely, which tore him up). I am mostly saddened by the void and the hole in my heart that she filled. She was loyal, entertaining, loving, and smart. She was obsessed with popcorn and could do an incredible high-five. She was so very loved and is missed more than words. Run free, Maggie.
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